Bob Zerull of Zoiks! Online recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Zoiks! Online: You're one of the best front men of all time, how do you prepare for a live show and is it difficult coming down from that?
Anselmo: At my age, young son, I love hitting the bag, because it does not hit back — at least not too hard. I've got to get my fat ass downstairs in that hot Louisiana fucking weather and sweat off some of this gut I got and get into traveling mode. As far as coming down from that adrenaline rush, normally after these type of shows, there is an adrenaline flow that needs to simmer. It's strange, you get off stage, you talk to all of your friends that end up at the show that you haven't seen in months, and the next thing you know, it's four o clock in the fucking morning, but it does take a little while to simmer.
Zoiks! Online: How different is the guy that I'm talking to now from the guy that's on stage?
Anselmo: Not so different, man. There is a certain command when you get up on the stage and the microphone is in your hand and you know that this is your fucking show. With my experience, you have to share some dominance up there — no fear, no relent. It's a privilege to do shows and it's a privilege to play in front of great audiences. Honestly, anybody that comes out to the show, it doesn't really matter if there is 10 people 100 people or 1000 people, those people came to see you perform and they deserve your best, to a certain degree, and you've got to lay it on them. I'm the same guy for the most part. I'm pretty chill though, but still intense in my own way; [it] just depends on the subject matter.
Zoiks! Online: I think of guys like James Hetfield [METALLICA] or Alice Cooper who have felt like they had to be their on stage personality 24/7. Is that something you've ever struggled with, like running into a fan…?
Anselmo: Yeah, everybody wants to… not everybody, but I will say I have met folks who want to see if they can push buttons or test the tough guy or some shit like that. What they really don't understand is that when you're on stage, you're really just trying to be that dominant force up there. Sometimes that can be misread completely. I think I crack enough jokes up on stage just to let people know that I'm a pretty down-to-goddamn-earth motherfucker, man. That's the fucking truth. Personally, I fucking hate rock stars. I think it's a miserable bunch of bullshit. I think the more real you can be with people in general, they don't have to be fans or anything like that, just the more real you can be with people in any walk of life, because, honestly, I can't say I'm any good at much else than what I'm into, and if music is my fucking specialty, it doesn't mean I can walk in someone else's shoes and do their job, because I can't. That's how I look at everything, especially between people relations. It's hard enough living in my own skin; God knows I can't imagine living for someone else at the same time. I think it's a two-way street, man, and both of us have the right of way. I prefer to make friends over having this worship or be set up on this pedestal. It's bullshit, man.
Zoiks! Online: Currently, I feel like the fans of heavy metal music are so passionate about the bands they love that they turn on the other bands in the same genre. Is that something you've experienced and how do you handle the negativity?
Anselmo: You know what, man?! I think there is always — in any walk of life that you're in, especially in the entertainment business and that extends from music to sports to whatever — if you're in the limelight, you're going to get your negative pricks out there that scoff at what you do. You've got to have that balance in life, because if everybody is loving you and fucking sucking up to you, then something is wrong. I'm the type of dude that doesn't care about popularity contests or fucking who's killer or on what top-ten list. I don't give a shit about any of that stuff, man. Especially with music, there is always going to be a new kid on the block. There's always going to be new bands that are pushing something that's different or similar, like you say, and I don't know. Everybody has their day in the sun; it's just what you do with that fucking day in the fucking sun after that fucking sunsets. It's what you do after that what really ends up counting. There's so many one-hit wonders and fly-by-night fads and fucking trends and shit like that. You've got to pick your side of the fence, stay on it, and if you need to, eventually you can plow through that fucking fence too and build you a new one. It's a big world with a lot of different ideas; everybody's got their own idea of what's cool, when it's cool and how it's cool. I can't please everybody all the fucking time, so fuck 'em.
Read the entire interview at Zoiks! Online.